Last week at this time Peter Scanlon was sharing reflections with colleagues on the MRA Spring Symposium that he attended on Friday, April 4th in Washington, DC. We wanted to take a moment and share some of his thoughts on the symposium here. This is an excerpt from the conversation about what the day yielded. Feel free to comment with any thoughts you may have!
1. What was the main takeaway from the day?
The main takeaway was the versatility of market research as a discipline and how it can have a substantial impact on an organization of any size. The Obama Campaign was able to utilize market research just as the Johns Hopkins Credit Union did, even though they were vastly different in organizational structure. While their goals and objectives were different, both were able to take their organizations to the next level.
2. Which seminar’s content do you feel you would like to learn more about? Why?
The presentation by Robert Moran of Brunswick Group was fascinating. He is a futurist, which means he uses various forms of data to predict how our current world will transform in the future. He focused on what the consumer will look like in 2024. His ability to distill large amounts of data and create quality predictions for the future made me really think about how our current landscape has an incredible impact on what will happen 5 or 10 years down the road. A few things he discussed for consumers were movements toward individual empowerment, the continual rise of women in the workplace, and the US market moving towards a post-materialistic buyer while emerging markets become more materialistic.
3. Where do you feel the future of market research is going?
Technology will continue to be an instrumental part of how research is conducted, but it won’t overtake the value of conducting research in a face-to-face setting. Anything that can make research more efficient, effective, and cost-friendly, while still making sure that the project is able to reach key objectives, will be sought after. Technology will continue to push the boundaries on what is possible, but it will still come down to meshing qualitative and quantitative research together to provide the best information to advance an organization.